The Second Age

Although this map
looks very like Tolkien’s own work, I assume it to be a new creation by the makers of the recently announced new TV series. An awful (in both senses of the word) lot happens between the years 3310 and 3320 of the second age. At this time Sauron, wearing his pretty make-up, is a counsellor of Ar-Pharazon the Golden, usurper king of Numenor. In 3310 he is building his great armada for his attack on the Valar, in order to win everlasting life (on the advice of Sauron, naturally). During that period ‘the faithful’ (notably Elendil and his kindred, who lived mainly in the west of Numenor and were estranged from the royalist majority, who Sauron had seduced, must have done all they could to prevent the imminent ‘downfall of Numenor’. The star-shaped island kingdom was itself a gift to those half-elves (descendents of Beren, Tinuviel, Idril and Tuor)  who battled Morgoth (Satan?) in the first age and then survived the War of Wrath in which most of Beleriand was drowned, perhaps  a sort of analog event to the biblical great flood.
The punishment that fell upon the failed Numenoreans was environmental disaster on a gargantuan scale: “… when Ar – Pharazon set foot upon the shores of Aman the Blessed, the Valar laid down their guardianship and called upon the One, and the world was changed. Numenor was thrown down and swallowed in the Sea. [this capitalisation, which I’ve just noticed, is original – as I read this the Sea itself is shown by Tolkien here to be an entity, perhaps even an entity with agency], and the undying lands were removed forever from the circles of the world. So ended the glory of Numenor.”
And so may end the glories of capitalist industrial society if we don’t soon start showing more respect to trees and dismantling our orcish furnaces and infernal combustion engines.
This series could take on some extra meaning for this age, ‘The Age of Man’, if used by Amazon’s scriptwriters as a further vehicle for Tolkien’s powerful conservationist environmentally protective narratives. As Treebeard sang, in a booming voice on the recording that my Dad once had:
“and now
all
those lands
lie under the wave!”
Then if we all last long enough for there to be a series two we might yet live to see the Last Alliance, years 3429 (Sauron attacks Gondor, takes Minas Ithil and burns the white tree) – 3441 (Sauron overthrown by Elendil and Gil Galad, who perish).
Tolkien really has left lots of material. There’s still the whole first Age, apparently, his first few books, such as ‘forgotten tales’.  Also the last one that he wrote, the Silmarillion, finished after his death by his son Christopher. All still unspoken for!

About Robert

I was born in 1951. I am a writer, artist and historian. I live at Rainbow Valley Community in Golden Bay.
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